IFPI welcomes 'landmark' ruling.

Music industry trade groups outside the U.S. have welcomed today’s Supreme Court decision regarding file-sharing service Grokster.

John Kennedy, chairman and CEO of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, called it “a landmark decision,” and “the most important judgement involving the music industry in 20 years.”

London-based Kennedy said in a statement, “It quite simply destroys the argument that peer-to-peer services bear no responsibility for illegal activities that take place on their networks. The US Supreme Court has ruled, clearly and unequivocally, that technology distributors cannot build a business by promoting copyright infringement. And, in doing so, the Court has given a boost to the development of the legitimate on-line market and the millions of creators and investors, artists and producers working within it, not only in the U.S. but worldwide.”

In the U.K., Peter Jamieson, executive chairman of the British Phonographic Industry, said, "This decision makes it clear that companies who distribute file-sharing software to promote and profit from the stealing of music are liable for their actions. It is good news for everyone who loves music."

Jamieson added that the real significance of today's Supreme Court judgment is that it paves the wave for the development of legal peer-to-peer networks.

The BPI says that it will continue its current wave of legal actions against British Internet users who upload music using file-sharing networks without the proper authorization of rights owners.

BPI general counsel Geoff Taylor said, “The Supreme Court noted that individuals were using Grokster and Morpheus software to infringe copyright ‘on a gigantic scale.’ We will continue to identify and bring legal actions against individuals in the UK who upload copyright music without permission onto any peer-to-peer network."

In France, label’s body Syndicat National de l’Edition Phonographique said the decision sends “a positive signal to producers and creators of music around the world by recognizing the responsibility of the developers of software allowing music to be pirated on the web.”

SNEP, in a statement, said that although the decision has been made by a U.S. court, its impact will reach beyond America. “The worlds of creation and of new technologies are fully concerned by the unanimous conclusions of the Supreme Court judges,” said SNEP.


More Coverage:
* The Supreme Court's rules in favor of the entertainment industry.
* Read Billboard Legal Editor Susan Butler's case summary here.
* Tech companies respond.
* Independent labels voice varying reactions.
* Read early responses from trade groups, congressional leaders and other interested parties.
* Read the Syllabus of the opinion.
* Check back for updates on this story.